Over the last few years, data protection has been firmly intertwined with wider political developments in a politically charged environment. So much so that the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) launched an investigation into how data analysis was being used for political purposes. At the same time, religious organisations have become a target for hackers. Not least because these organisations often handle large sums of money and have databases of confidential member information.
All kinds of religious and political institutions are experiencing data breaches. This includes:
Churches and other religious organisations. Religious organisations hold a wealth of sensitive data on their members, but many have failed to put robust data protection policies in place to deal with this confidential information.
Political parties. The ICO has had to write to all the main UK political parties to remind them to adhere to data protection laws. Data security also hit the headlines following attempted political cyber-attacks.
Political consulting firms. The Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal highlighted what can happen when consultancy firms access our personal and political data.
With significant amounts of private data stored, processed, and shared by political and religious groups, robust security measures are more critical than ever. But there are questions over whether political parties and religious organisations across the ideological and faith divide are upholding our right to data privacy as well as they should be.